Desert dreams and ghost cows: the AZT 300

Going in to the AZT300, my main aim was simply to be present, be confident in myself and to find that elusive state of mind that makes ultra-racing so utterly addicitive. Annie and me spent a full month in Arizona, spending some time with Kurt Refsnider and Kaitlyn Boyle, the respective male and female record holders of the 300 (and the 750 for Kurt), and … Continue reading Desert dreams and ghost cows: the AZT 300

Alaska and the White Mountains 100

It’s been a flighty few weeks here on the western side of the Atlantic. I’m sitting typing this in a garden in central Arizona while we wait for the start of the Arizona Trail Race, but that will (hopefully) be a story for another time. Before the warmth, sun and cacti happened, I spent 10 days at more northern latitudes in Alaska last month, separated … Continue reading Alaska and the White Mountains 100

Boundless: A Greenlandic Bikerafting Journey

This story originally appeared in issue 1 of the Bikepacking Journal. To get access to more tall tales from the journal in its beautiful, tactile paper format, you can become a member of the bikepacking collective here: https://www.bikepacking.com/join/ Three parallel tracks led straight on, seeming to merge as they crested the next dune. The two tracks on the right were pairs of reniform depressions like … Continue reading Boundless: A Greenlandic Bikerafting Journey

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Fat tyres and Friluftsliv: bikepacking in Arctic Sweden

I looked again at the map, at the confident lines that we had traced across its surface a few days before, but which now more closely resembled a rod for our own backs, and as time to think was plentiful I asked myself how I had come once again to a familiar position: lying in a tent somewhere cold, trying to ride (well mostly push, … Continue reading Fat tyres and Friluftsliv: bikepacking in Arctic Sweden

Tread lightly: A Tale of Three Plateaus

  The granite plateaus of the cairngorms began their life far from the sun, at the roots of a mountain chain, at a time when Scotland and America were still parts of the same landmass. Wind, water and ice took their toll, and the mountains were eroded into nothing, but their roots remained. Ice came and took bites from it, but the granite was only … Continue reading Tread lightly: A Tale of Three Plateaus

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The Out Track: 2018 Highland Trail 550

The clock says that it’s three in the afternoon, although you could tell me it’s 3am and that would feel about right. My first reaction to my own truncated attempt at this year’s Highland Trail 550 and the fallout from it was to simply forget about it: there’s always next year, best perhaps to chalk it up to experience. There was always going to be … Continue reading The Out Track: 2018 Highland Trail 550

The Kindness of Strangers: A festive LEJOG

It wasn’t my idea, and I doubt I ever would have had the audacity to suggest it to anyone, even if it had been. In fact, when Jenny mentioned her plans to do a four day, Land’s End to John O’ Groats ride over the New Year weekend, my brain made a little shudder and thought only about how grim it sounded. Well, most of … Continue reading The Kindness of Strangers: A festive LEJOG

Way out West: Bikerafting in the Outer Hebrides

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Scotland is an infinitely more varied and variable part of the world than its size and tourist-pleasing stereotypes would suggest. The mainland alone is a geological patchwork quilt of different massifs and ecosystems, of different accents and too many unhealthy foods to count. Macaroni pie, anyone? As well as the mainland, there are of course nearly … Continue reading Way out West: Bikerafting in the Outer Hebrides